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System Tables (Transact-SQL)

The topics in this section describe the system tables in Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

The system tables should not be changed directly by any user. For example, do not try to modify system tables with DELETE, UPDATE, or INSERT statements, or user-defined triggers.

Referencing documented columns in system tables is permissible. However, many of the columns in system tables are not documented. Applications should not be written to directly query undocumented columns. Instead, to retrieve information stored in the system tables, applications should use any one of the following components:

  • System stored procedures
  • Transact-SQL statements and functions
  • SQL Server Management Objects (SMO)
  • Replication Management Objects (RMO)
  • Database API catalog functions

These components make up a published API for obtaining system information from SQL Server. Microsoft maintains the compatibility of these components from release to release. The format of the system tables depends upon the internal architecture of SQL Server and may change from release to release. Therefore, applications that directly access the undocumented columns of system tables may have to be changed before they can access a later version of SQL Server.

The system table topics are organized by the following feature areas:

Integration Services Tables

Notification Services Tables

Backup and Restore Tables

SQL Server Agent Tables

Log Shipping Tables

Database Maintenance Plan Tables

Replication Tables (Transact-SQL)

This section also contains a topic that describes the mapping of the system tables in SQL Server 2000 to the system views in SQL Server 2005. For information, see Mapping SQL Server 2000 System Tables to SQL Server 2005 System Views.

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